Written by Marina Guz who works as Junior Consultant at Mindjumpers.
Every day, you are faced with multiple considerations concerning your organization’s social media strategy. In order to ensure effective stakeholder communication and avoid any unfortunate situations, it is a good idea to create a social media policy for your employees.
In the following, we are going to outline what exactly a social media policy is, what the benefits are from implementing one in your organization and which elements it can include.
What is a social media policy?
A social media policy is a corporate code of conduct that provides guidelines for employees who post content on the Internet either as part of their job or as a private person.
It ensures that your employees are aware of the DO’s and DON’Ts and communicate your brand message in the right way – according to the standards you set.
How does a social media policy benefit your company?
A social media guide can benefit your organization in many ways, but most importantly it can contribute to:
- Providing structure for employees.
- Protecting your brand and business.
- Educating and guiding employees to being “ambassadors”.
- Creating value for the organization as employees know the right way to act, which reflects positively on the brand.
- Showing a modern and transparent company.
What elements can be included in your social media policy?
Your social media policy can encompass several different elements, tailored to your preference and your business processes. However, we believe it can be a good idea to take the following topics into account:
- Confidentiality – What type of information are the employees allowed to discuss? Which information is confidential?
- Governance – Do you actively encourage employees to engage in conversations regarding your brand?
- Authorization – Are all employees authorized to create social media content?
- Transparency – Are employees required to identify themselves as employees in your company when discussing topics relevant to the organization?
- Responsibility – How are your employees supposed to act on social media? Consider behavior in terms of misrepresentations. Can employees e.g. discuss politics/religions?
- Value – Everything employees publish online reflects upon the brand. How do employees add most value?
Be certain to formulate the policy as a guide to what your employees can and should do on social media. You should empower them to use social media effectively, rather than setting formal rules and restrictions. Add best practice examples, and get inspired by companies like Cisco, IBM, Intel, or Microsoft.
How can you distribute your social media guidelines?
There are multiple ways to communicate your social media policy to your employees. You can send it via e-mail, upload it on your organization’s Intranet, use it during on-boardings of new employees or simply hand every employee a copy of it when becoming a part of your business.
However, you can also try to think outside the box and e.g. create an introductory video or set up the policy in a playful way as an e-learning tool. The more creative you are when communicating the policy to your employees, the more likely it is that they will easily remember the different elements.
For more inspiration, check out the ‘Social Media Governance’ website with a database of over 100 social media policies.
Have you already implemented a social media policy in your organization?